• Prolicense Florida

What is the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Broker in Florida?

Updated: Feb 8

If you are just beginning your Florida real estate career, or coming with experience from another state, it’s important to understand the differences between a sales associate (real estate agent) and a broker. It is also useful to know the required qualifications and duties of these two types of real estate licenses in Florida.

Real Estate Agent VS Broker in Florida

The Sales Associate

Sales associates are most commonly called “real estate agents” by the public. In Florida, a sales associate is a licensed real estate professional who can list properties, carry sales transactions, represent buyers or sellers, and earn commissions. Sales associates provide the necessary information to guide their clients through the contractual aspects of the purchase or sale. They arrange showings and negotiate transactions.


A sales associate must always work under the direction of a broker.

A licensed sales associate is allowed to practice in five (5) main sales specialties of the real estate market:

  • residential

  • commercial

  • industrial

  • agricultural

  • business

They are no additional education requirements to practice in any of these specialties. Once you get your sales associate license, you are free to market your expertise in any of these fields.


To obtain a sales associate license in Florida you must:

  1. Complete a pre-licensing course of 63 hours.

  2. Get your fingerprints taken.

  3. Submit an application to the State.

  4. Pass the Florida real estate sales associate exam.

Florida has reciprocity with 10 states. Mutual recognition means that if you are licensed in one of these states, you can bypass the education requirement.


After getting your license, you will be required to complete post-licensing and continuing education to maintain your right to practice as a sales associate.


The Real Estate Broker

To become a real estate broker in Florida you must first have experience as an active Florida sales associate for at least 24 months or must have held a valid real estate license for at least 24 months in any other jurisdiction of the United States.


Brokers can operate independently, or have sales associates work for them. A broker can list and show properties just like a sales associate, but a sales associate cannot perform the duties of a broker.


Brokers oversee their sales associates, making sure their clients get the best service and that all laws are being observed. Brokers may be disciplined for failing to direct, control or manage sales associates who work under them.


A broker may elect to change her/his license from “broker” to “broker sales associate.” A “broker sales associate” is a real estate broker licensee who prefers to operate as a sales associate in the employ of another broker. A broker sales associate avoids the additional responsibilities and compliance requirements of an actual real estate broker.


To get a real estate broker license in Florida you must:

  1. Complete a Pre-Licensing Course of 72 hours.

  2. Get your fingerprints taken.

  3. Submit an application to the State.

  4. Pass the Florida real estate broker exam.


The Pros of Becoming a Real Estate Broker

• More control over your career

• Earn higher income

• Establish and run a property management company

• Use your experience to get leverage in marketing


The Cons of Becoming a Real Estate Broker

• More Requirements

• More Responsibility

• More Risk


As you plan your future as a real estate professional, consider your personal goals and how much responsibility you want to accept. The sky is the limit!

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